After a gruelling campaign this election cycle is about to end. With so many of the world’s finest publications flocking together to endorse Hillary Clinton, it is hard to imagine that anything important would have been left unsaid. But there certainly is the question of wrong emphasis. In partisan politics where two papers seldom agree it becomes clearer and clearer by the day that what brought them together is not just Mrs Clinton’s candidature but the prospects of a Trump presidency. The man has allowed every politically incorrect notion to be amplified by his candidature. His own voice on tape is available to remind us of what he thinks of women. Hs financial integrity is highly suspect owing to the unfortunate habit of stiffing vendors, evading taxes and then crowing about it all as if that is something smart to do. The more closets you open more skeletons you find. But that is still not the point. You still refuse to see Hillary Clinton. You spot the train wreck Trump is right in the middle of your path and want to take evasive manoeuvres. Hardly a reason to vote somebody in.
Then there is the matter of the enthusiasm gap. One reason is that her own base was primarily shaped by her loss in 2008 battle for nominations. The world and democratic party that emerged out of the struggle belonged to her the then rival and now chief surrogate President Obama. While politicians have the uncanny gift of overcoming hostility after the race is over, ordinary workers and mere mortals carry the baggage for a long time. So, you can easily view ‘Bernie or bust’ campaign as an unresolved and perhaps undiagnosed case of ‘anybody but Hillary’ syndrome. Lies about her were instantaneously inhaled. Baseless propaganda onslaughts attained the stature of unquestioned articles of faith.
And you also have the issue of a system revolting against her. In fact, this revolt neither new nor fair. It was primarily a revolt against President Obama. For eight years under President Bush, Fox and its far-right friends kept bending truth to suit the administration and radicalised the society. Under Obama the same elements continued the low intensity media insurgency. The resulting regimentation has destroyed American moral compass to such an extent that a common man on the street cannot distinguish between the rottenest choice and one of the finest ones. Americans especially of the Republican kind are mere mortals and whether within the system or out have continued the insurgency. Not fair.
If you must vote you should do so for the right reasons not as a reaction. There are two cases in support of Hillary Clinton; one weak one strong. The weaker one first. And it is about her gender. Weaker not because of the gender involved but because it obscures her individual merits. America shouldn’t vote just because the candidate in question is a woman. But there are reasons why no woman has ever been a president of the United States. And if you look at the way the system and the media have treated her it becomes very clear. Call it sexism or misogyny, it is there. Even in one of the best and most powerful democracies in the world. Sad but true. The worry here is that if she doesn’t win and given the brutal treatment meted out to her, women for generations will be discouraged to volunteer for the position. If you claim you could vote for anyone woman but Hillary well think again. There is a reason why she is the only one who has reached this far and this is how you have treated her. Next time you will invent another excuse. Do it now or you will never.
The stronger case, and it is remarkable how the benighted discourse refuses to admit it, lies in her own personality and capabilities. You may dismiss her political correctness as a habit to play safe but think about it. Why is she always right? Can it be vision & wisdom? Yes, it is. And substance and a fighting spirit. Look again. You will find a heartwarming candidate being overlooked because the world refuses to overcome its own demons. Vote for her America if you see her merits. If don’t see her, don’t vote for her. Let your country go to dogs for what is left is beyond redemption. This is a friend’s honest advice.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 5th, 2016.